Cambridge: try both the Town and the Gown!

The University is, understandably, a main pull to visit Cambridge.  Beautiful and ancient buildings etc etc…  But if you’re coming to Cambridge, how about doing something different to see another part of the city whilst you’re here?  See the town (the city) as well as the gown (the university)!  Here are some suggestions.

  • Take a trip down Mill Road.  Mill Road is a fabulously diverse road in Cambridge which has all sorts of interesting shops and feels miles away from the central University hub when it’s really just a wander across Parker’s Piece.  There is a great community spirit and the residents work hard to hold many events throughout the year.  Lots of independent shops where you will be sure to find all types of delights and plenty of friendly people – a different side to Cambridge!  If you’re visiting in December then try to make their Winter Fair – it’s a wonderful day!
Mill Rd Winter Fair Keith Edkins

Gog Magog Molly (“Fearsome ploughboys from out in the Fens – honest!”) perform at Mill Road Winter Fair 2010. The road is closed to traffic for this now traditional annual event.      © Copyright Keith Edkins and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence from the Geograph website


  • A walk along the River Cam to Bait’s Bite Lock and back through Fen Ditton is a lovely way to spend a couple of hours.  You will almost definitely see some rowers but if you go early morning during the week or mid-morning at the weekend, the river will be crowded with eights (row boats with eight people rowing) arguing over who is going where and trying to hear their coach shouting at them (from their bike on the tow path).  You can also combine it with a drink or two at the Green Dragon in Chesterton on the way out and another few at The Plough in Fen Ditton on the way back.  Click here for some great directions.
Ditton Meadows John Sutton

Railway bridge over the River Cam from Ditton Meadows with the tow path on the other side. © Copyright John Sutton and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence from the Geograph website


  • Go and see a Cambridge United football match.  Yes, they’re not premier league (well, they’re only just in the league) but it is a much better representation of one of the most loved English sports than going to a massive stadium.  It’s authentically rough around the edges with a couple of thousand devoted fans going to every home match on Saturdays.  They will love that you are making an effort to see a different side to Cambridge and I am sure you will hear a few traditional football songs too… It’s a no-brainer for anyone who loves sport and wants to see traditional English football – get a pie and bovril at half time too!


I’m sure there are many more ideas – if you have some then get in touch and I’ll add them!

Source for featured image: © Copyright Keith Edkins and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence from the Geograph website


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